May 20, 2024

In Case You Missed It Last Week

 The Federal Government reports there have been 1,000 gun deaths in Alabama in the years 2020 - 2023

See my earlier story HERE.



Anniversary of Confederate capitol Moving to Richmond

 May 20, 1860---163 years ago...

The Confederate Government leaves Montgomery and relocates to Richmond, Virginia.

From The Washington Post:

 


"...Montgomery was not the Confederate capital for long. It was too small, its population consisting of only 9,000 people with but half of these being white. The city's infrastructure was too small to support the added population the government would attract, and its location in the Deep South was not easy to reach.

Conversely, Richmond's 1860 population was 38,000, over sixty percent of which was white. Serviced by five railroads, it was easy to reach. Steamboats connected it to Washington and Baltimore. It had spacious halls, good hotels, appetizing restaurants, and the heritage of the Founding Fathers."

 From the website www.battlefields.org:

"Richmond was a much larger metropolis than Montgomery. The heart of the South's industry, Richmond was also a market town specializing in flour and slaves. It was a beautiful town located at the foot of the Great Falls of the James River and on seven hills. Its citizens compared it to Rome. Between 1861 and 1865, its population swelled to 100,000 and more. Much to its citizens' dismay, many of the new residents were rowdy, noisy, and troublesome. In addition, because the city was the Confederate capital, it became the focus of Union attention. The threat of capture by Federal forces was constant.

Richmond at first thrived as the capital of the Confederacy. Then starved. Then burned when, at last, Robert E. Lee's forces were forced to retreat, leaving the city defenseless."

 

May 19, 2024

Irish Myths: Today is a day of Dont's and Dont's

 I must say that I have never read or heard of these "beliefs", though I am from a largely Irish Family. (In fact, I hold dual citizenship with Ireland, allowed because three of my four Grandparents were Irish-born!). Nonetheless.....


Today---MAY 19th--- is Pentecost Sunday, and also "Whit Sunday", a day that comes with it dozens of superstitions....for example:

  •  A foal born on Whit Sunday is considered unlucky, and it is believed he will cause somebody's death. Children born on Whit Sunday are believed to be awkward. People do not bathe on Whit Sunday. (Volume 0055, Page 0121).

  • If you take an ailment on whit Sunday, you never will get better. (Volume 0137B, Page 31_056)

  • Whit Sunday is an unlucky day to be born. It is said any person born on Whit Sunday would commit Murder. It is also said if any person would sleep out on a Whit Sunday he would get silly. If you bathe on Whit Sunday and take pains you will never get better. (Volume 0190, Page 129)

  • Whit Sunday is an unlucky day for fishing. Three men from Falcanagh went out to fish on Whit Sunday. They had just begun when one of them saw a black rabbit which he followed. When he came back he found that the other two were drowned. (Volume 1085, Page 102)

  • It is said that it isn't right to dirty the water on Whit Sunday. On Whit Sunday people bring bottles of holy water home and shake it on their crops to make them grow better.(Volume 0138D, Page 17_010)

  • Whit Sunday. It is unlucky to wet your feet above your ankles. It is not right to shave on Whit Sunday. If you do not bring in Whit Sunday water you will not have luck for the year. New years day. (Volume 0152, Page 375)

  • On Whit Sunday a certain meal is taken. It is called Flummery, (the direction is given)he Schools’ Collection, Volume 0168, Page 066

  • Whit Sunday is called the "Cross Day" of the year. Nobody should go bathing or swimming on that day. (Volume 0184, Page 0082)

  • Whit Sunday - White Sunday as the early converts had to wear white on first entering the church - hence it got its name White Sunday. Also, the Holy Spirit came to inspire the Apostles on this day. Nowadays Whit is looked on as a holiday time and excursions and sport only is thought of. This is a pagan idea and very un-Irish. (Volume 0863, Page 292)

  • Any person born on Whit Sunday is called a "cinghcise" and if you get a kick from that person you will be marked for life.

    SOURCE: HERE

Should Selma Lose The Position of Dallas County Seat?

 After all, Selma replaced Cahaba as County seat because Cahaba had lost so much population....

(Originally, the Dallas county seat was at Cahaba, which also served as the state capital for a brief period.)

 But in 1865, the county seat was transferred to Selma, Alabama as the center of population had moved.

Selma's current population is 17,023, down from 23,720 in 1990.

Time for a change? Valley Grand is the only other city of any size in Dallas County, and it's most recent population was only 4,035....so no gain there! There's also Selmont/West Selmont (population? 1,933)

Hmmmm seems that Selma is the only game in town! 


 

May 18, 2024

Conservative Political Star Arrested On Capital Assault Charges.

Lebanon County man sentenced to federal prison for role in Jan. 6 riot

(Leo Brent Bozell IV) "Bozell is the grandnephew of William F. Buckley Jr., founder of the National Review and a leading conservative intellectual. His father is the founder of a group of right-wing news outlets, including the Media Research Center, NewsBusters and CNSNews. Bozell’s grandfather L. Brent Bozell Jr. was a speechwriter for Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), ghostwriter for 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, and a prominent voice for conservative American Catholicism."

Source: Washington Post Story.

May 15, 2024

Debates

 Biden and Trump agreed to participate in two separate debates within minutes of each other earlier Wednesday, one on June 27 on CNN and another on Sept. 10 on ABC News.

(The CNN debate will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, at 9 p.m. EST without a live audience.)

Alabama Urban Fatal Shooting Data

 The N.Y. Times has posted an interactive map showing the location of fatal shootings in selected cities.

It indicates 1,000 gun deaths in Alabama's four largest cities between 2020 and 2023:

The Highest in Alabama?

Birmingham:

 Birmingham, Ala.

Very high gun homicide rate

There were at least 498 fatal shootings in Birmingham from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 58 percent of people lived near a shooting.

 

Montgomery

Very high gun homicide rate

There were at least 280 fatal shootings in Montgomery from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 41 percent of people lived near a shooting.

======================================

Mobile

High gun homicide rate

There were at least 145 fatal shootings in Mobile from 2020-23.

The map is HERE.

================================================

Huntsville

High gun homicide rate

There were at least 77 fatal shootings in Huntsville from 2020-23.
The map is HERE

You can also search for other cities, for example: Tuscaloosa:

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

High gun homicide rate

There were at least 51 fatal shootings in Tuscaloosa from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 24 percent of people lived near a shooting.

Gadsden, Alabama

High gun homicide rate

There were at least 18 fatal shootings in Gadsden from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 19 percent of people lived near a shooting.

 

Tuskegee, Ala.

Very high gun homicide rate

There were at least 12 fatal shootings in Tuskegee from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 28 percent of people lived near a shooting.

 

Prattville, Ala.

About average gun homicide rate

There were at least 9 fatal shootings in Prattville from 2020-23. This map shows how many shootings were within a quarter mile of each block. About 11 percent of people lived near a shooting.

 

=================================================

"Targeting" Gees Bend?

 2nd Annual 'Gee's Bend Airing Of The Quilts' Taking Place October 7, 2023


They made one-of-a-kind quilts that captured the public's imagination. Then Target came along

By ANNA FURMAN Associated Press
May 10, 2024, 11:34 PM

"Over the past two decades, Gee’s Bend quilts have captured the public’s imagination with their kaleidoscopic colors and their daring geometric patterns. The groundbreaking art practice was cultivated by direct descendants of slaves in rural Alabama who have faced oppression, geographic isolation and intense material constraints.

As of this year, their improvisational art has also come to embody a very modern question: What happens when distinctive cultural tradition collides with corporate America?

Enter Target. The retailer launched a limited-edition collection based on the quilters' designs for Black History Month this year. Consumer appetites proved to be high as many stores around the country sold out of the checkered sweaters, water bottles and faux-quilted blankets."

 

FULL STORY is HERE


 

Stormy Friday

I'm glad the Weather Service people are on the job, but as I have said before, I wish they would rethink their wording for some of the categories below. Marginal? Slight? Enhanced? Moderate? Ask people to see if they can determine which are higher. Fuzzy language.

 Stick to the number scale.

Alabama rainfall outlook

Sorry GOP...NOT political.

 AL.COM story:

Athens police on Tuesday said their investigation into a violent altercation involving a Donald Trump campaign volunteer showed “no indication” the incident was, as the Alabama Republican Party claimed, a “politically motivated attack.”

“Our investigation suggests road rage led to the altercation between a driver in one vehicle, and a passenger in another vehicle,” said Athens Police Chief Anthony Pressnell in a statement issued Tuesday.

“We received numerous questions from media asking about it being a politically motivated attack, which we never reported, and there is no indication that was the case.”

May 14, 2024

Medicaid Expansion

 


Montgomery, AL – May 14, 2024 – More than 80 organizations sent a joint letter to Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday urging immediate action to close Alabama's health coverage gap. The groups are partners in Cover Alabama, a nonpartisan coalition dedicated to ensuring quality, affordable health coverage for all Alabamians. 

 

“We are writing today to ask you to close Alabama’s health coverage gap immediately,” the letter said. “Alabama faces a significant challenge in ensuring access to affordable health care for all its residents. Our state continues to maintain a substantial gap in coverage, leaving nearly 300,000 Alabamians without access to the care they need to stay healthy and thrive.” 

 

The groups’ call to action came after a recent joint hearing of the Senate and House health committees. During the hearing, Republican lawmakers from Arkansas and North Carolina testified about their respective approaches to expanding health care access. 

 

“Alabama is one of only 10 states that have not closed the coverage gap,” said Debbie Smith, Alabama Arise’s Cover Alabama campaign director. “Our lawmakers heard two successful options to expand health care and the benefits of each, and there are many more positive examples across the country.” 

 

The hearing demonstrated two potential approaches Alabama could emulate to close the coverage gap — traditional Medicaid expansion, like North Carolina, or a public-private option, like Arkansas. 

 

“I live in a very rural and very conservative area,” North Carolina state Sen. Jim Burgin said during the hearing. “I have not had one person that has come up to me and told me, ‘Jim, you shouldn’t have done that, and we’re against you for doing that.’ But I’ve had hundreds of people come up to me and thank me because their loved one is now getting help.” 

 

North Carolina expanded Medicaid in 2023. In 2014, Arkansas leveraged a public-private option to expand health care access.  

 

“At the end of the day, looking at those health care providers, what they were facing, and our hospitals, we’re going to pay for these folks one way or the other,” Arkansas state Sen. Missy Irvin said. “So you might as well legalize a structure where you can get premium tax to help pay for a program, and you get higher reimbursement rates.” 

 

Cover Alabama’s letter to Ivey implores her to recognize the urgency of closing the coverage gap and to take swift action to ensure Alabamians have access to health care. The letter highlights the economic benefits of expanding health care access, citing improvements in workforce participation, economic growth and productivity. The letter also outlines key recommendations for an Alabama solution, emphasizing the importance of covering adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, supporting rural access to health care and maximizing federal funds to reduce state costs. 

 
The Alabama Legislature’s 2024 regular session ended last week without any legislation passed to close the coverage gap. But the governor can answer the call for health care expansion with executive action at any time. 

 

“Alabama shouldn’t be left behind any longer,” Smith said. “Gov. Ivey should take immediate action to close the coverage gap now.” 

 

### 

 

About Cover Alabama: 

Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan alliance of advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations advocating for Alabama to provide quality, affordable health coverage to its residents and implement a sustainable health care system. 



A Reminder

 The "Alabama News Center" is not.

It is a "News Mirage", as detailed in a story by National Public Radio.

 "...the latest in a series of stories examining how utilities and fossil fuel interests manipulated local news and attacked public officials to get their way; previous reporting uncovered the ways power companies in Florida and Alabama funded news sites that attacked their critics and how politicians paid a local political outlet in Florida for favorable coverage.

 

I first reported about those fake news sites in 2019 HERE.


May 13, 2024

Alabama Mercedes Union Voting is this week

A glimpse into production at the Mercedes-Benz plant Tuscaloosa.

 

Will Alabama's Mercedes Benz employees at the plant in Vance 

vote in favor of joining the UAW? The voting continues through May 17th.

We'll know after this week's voting.

May 12, 2024

Mother's Day Too

 May be pop art of text that says 'THE NEW YORKER Hannah Hannoh λoA3RжиeMлAcHo Happy Mothers Day Aother's Aother'sDoy Doy CSMELO Hayui hers "I have two mommies. I know where the apostrophe goes."'

Happy Mother's Day


 My mother and I, about 1960, in Parkchester, The Bronx, New York City.

Religion(ot)

 from an AL.COM story on declining religions in Alabama:



"In a world of technology such as iPhones, young people are turning to Google for answers more than God. People of no religious affiliation now outnumber churchgoers. About 28 percent of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. About 40 percent are Protestants and 20 percent Catholics."

May 9, 2024

Status of LCS 8 Montgomery (Alabama) and its white leadership.


 

As expected, I suppose, the three men leading the ship are white.

Commanding Officer
Executive Officer 
Command Senior Chief

(From The American Homefront website)

The One Navy Task Force is looking at why only a handful of African Americans reach top jobs. It's also examining discrimination in all aspects of Navy life.

The problem starts at the top.

According to data provided by the One Navy Task Force, of the 268 admirals in the Navy, only 10 are African-American, and most are rear admirals, like Alvin Holsey who is heading the task force for the Chief of Naval Operations. There are no Black admirals at the two highest ranks.

Holsey concedes those numbers are small. He said building an admiral is a 20 to 30 year commitment, and someone has to be willing to guide that young officer.

"As a Black officer in the U.S. Navy, I will tell you I've mentored more people who don't look like me than do look like me," he said. "Somebody who doesn't look like me had to reach out and engage in my career."

African Americans comprise about 13 percent of the U.S. population, but roughly 8.1 percent of Naval officers are Black, according to a 2019 report by the Congressional Research Service.

So the pipeline is small, and many Black officers just become exhausted as they work their way up the chain of command, said Keith Green, a retired lieutenant commander. He recently wrote the book Black Officer/White Navy.

"It is not simply just unconscious bias," Green said. "There are active behaviors that are happening to people, because they don’t like working for a Black person or a minority, and they don’t like having one be their supervisor."

https://www.surfpac.navy.mil/Ships/USS-Montgomery-LCS-8/Leaders/

The ship itself is one of those that will likely be decommissioned and sold to an allied country's Navy.

Fat-a-bama

 Alabama ranks 7th when it comes to obesity.

These Are the 10 States With the Highest Obesity Rates

State
Obesity Rate
West Virginia
41.3%
Oklahoma
40.3%
Louisiana
40.0%
Mississippi
39.7%
Tennessee
39.1%
Ohio
38.0%
Alabama
37.9%
Indiana
37.9%
Delaware
37.8%
Kentucky
37.8%

The rankings come from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Vietnam 34 years ago


 
Shortly after my arrival in Quang Tri. Uniform & boots are brand new.

On this date in 1970 I started my service in Vietnam.


I returned to the U.S. on April 8, 1971.

May 8, 2024

O.I.A.*

 

Black mayor of tiny Alabama town says he was ousted by his White  predecessor | CNN(photo via CNN)

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first Black mayor in Newbern, Alabama filed a lawsuit against white town leaders because he claims they are preventing him from taking office, and today a federal district court held a hearing in the case about a preliminary injunction filed by the plaintiffs.

Patrick Braxton claims in his November 2022 complaint that after he was lawfully selected as mayor, the outgoing mayor and his town council changed the locks to the town hall, removed or destroyed town documents and denied Braxton access to the town’s mailbox and bank account."

SOURCE is HERE.

*Only In Alabama.

May 7, 2024

Air Force Officer shot and Killed by Deputy

 

US service member shot and killed by Florida police identified by the Air Force

 

STORY HERE.

Alabama Unions

 

 Bloomberg Reporting:

(Bloomberg) -- The US government raised concerns with Germany about alleged union-busting in Alabama by Mercedes-Benz Group AG, an unusual move that escalates scrutiny on the automaker’s handling of a high-stakes unionization campaign that heads to a vote next week.

Officials recently spoke about allegations by the United Auto Workers against Mercedes that include firing union activists and holding a mandatory meeting at which an executive discouraged unionization, according to a US government official familiar with the discussion. The conversation included commitments that the governments will work together to promote unions and employee rights, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive communications.

Mercedes, based in Stuttgart, Germany, denied wrongdoing, saying in an statement that the company doesn’t believe the UAW claims have merit and hasn’t interfered or retaliated against employees seeking unionization. The German embassy declined to comment. 

About 5,200 workers at Mercedes facilities in Vance and Woodstock, Alabama, are slated to vote on joining the UAW on May 13 through 17, a pivotal test of the union’s reinvigorated strength.

May 6, 2024

Birmingham Water Works Fails. Montgomery?

 The Birmingham Water Works received the lowest score among 19 utilities in the Southeast in the latest customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power.

During my years as a customer....the 1970s- 1990s...I found them to be the worst of the utilities I dealt with there. Nonetheless they get an A- Better Business Bureau rating.

And Montgomery...is worse. Their BBB rating? C-

Montgomery Water Works & Sanitary Sewer ...